France & Germany | Christmas Markets | Family Vacation
Explore some of the best Christmas markets in Germany and France.
7 days / 6 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Follow European guiding icon Ron Van Dijk through Germany and France’s charming Christmas markets this December. Find your Christmas spirit on this seven-day journey, enjoying a glass of traditional eggnog as you traverse some of the most magical festive town centers in all of Europe. Hop across the border to Strasbourg to see France’s oldest Christmas market, and don’t forget to have some roasted chestnuts and Glühwein while shopping for that one-of-a-kind nutcracker or glockenspiel!
- Enjoy a walk from the famous night watchman as he leads you around the fabled German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
- Experience a pretzel-making class at a local shop, and don’t forget to eat a few of your creations while sipping on some mulled wine at the enchanting Christmas market.
- Do some shopping at the markets and wander the streets searching for that perfect Bratwurst while enjoying a local beer.
- Visit Nuremberg and one of the world’s oldest Christmas markets, the Christkindlesmarkt.
- Bike ride through the historic town center on the Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and later through the lovely “La Petite France” district.
- Soak in thermal baths in Germany before saying goodbye to your charming destination.
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The Traditions! Experience iconic German Christmas traditions, including the wooden booths of the Christmas markets and the angelic “Christkind” – the traditional gift-giver at Christmas, draped in a golden gown with blonde locks and a beautiful crown.
The “Gemutlichkeit”! You’ll experience the German word for coziness every day, whether you’re in a warm café watching the snow fall through the window, or wrapped up in a scarf, sipping a warm drink and strolling through the market.
The Food! Warm yourself up with a tempting German sausage and wash it down with glühwein, a mulled wine that has become synonymous with Christmas in Germany. For dessert, you can’t beat some warm, spice-filled gingerbread cookies. Nuremberg is famous for them.
Frankfurt, Germany FRA
Frankfurt, Germany FRA
Frankfurt / Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Pick-ups in Frankfurt Germany and depart for Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a medieval city with many stories to tell. Enjoy a walk from the famous night watchman as he leads you around this fabled city. Experience a pretzel-making class at a local shop, and don’t forget to eat a few of your creations while sipping on some mulled wine at the enchanting Christmas market.
About Romantik Hotel Markusturm
Built in the 1200’s as part of the construction of the first city wall, what was once a hostel for passing travelers is now the Romantik Hotel. The Berger family (who has owned the hotel for four generations) strives to maintain the original structure and charm of the property while still providing modern amenities. Each of the 16 rooms is unique and provides a comfortable oasis after a day exploring the city. And, as the hotel is located just steps from the town square, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for exploration.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
After breakfast, we’ll hike around the amazing wall that surrounds the Old Town of Rothenburg. Steeped in history, you’ll have a new perspective on this medieval city, wandering its cobbled streets and walking along its ancient walls. After lunch, you’ll have free time to do some shopping at the markets and wander the streets searching for that perfect Bratwurst while enjoying a local beer.
Today we set out to explore Nuremberg and one of the world’s oldest Christmas markets, the Christkindlesmarkt. We’ll take a tour of the old city, learning about the fascinating history as we walk along the old city walls and ramparts. Then, warm yourself up with some cheesy potato dumplings (Schupfnudel) or some Schwäbische Käsespätzle (German mac and cheese).
About Hotel Victoria
Located in a quiet yet central location, by the gateway to the Old Town of Nuremberg, Hotel Victoria looks as if it is straight off a postcard. With many of the best sights within walking distance, you’ll feel surrounded by the magic and beauty of the city. The light, modern, and comfortable rooms are a stark contrast to the historic and beautiful exterior, and provide all the modern amenities you need. This is a stay you won’t soon forget.
Fanning out across the ancient city of Nuremberg are Christmas markets galore, which means you’ll want a free day to do some shopping. We’ll trade stories in the evening as we meet for a nice dinner in the town center.
Strasbourg / Baden-Baden
Today it’s off to Strasbourg, France to check out Christmas across the border. We’ll take a short bike ride through the historic town center on the Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and later through the lovely “La Petite France” district, where you’ll visit the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. In the afternoon, visit the oldest Christmas Market in France. Tonight’s a free night to enjoy the hotel spa in the enchanting spa town of Baden-Baden.
About Dorint Hotel Maison Messmer
A warm welcome is the first of many wonderful reasons that a stay at the Dorint Hotel Maison Messmer is one of comfort and luxury. With rooms looking out over the hills and lush greenery of the black forest, restaurants serving delicious meals made with the freshest ingredients, and a spa to pamper you with wellness and beauty treatments, this hotel has it all, and then some.
After a morning hike in the famous Black Forest, you’ll have a free day to visit one of the town’s famous spas – its thermal baths have turned the city into a fashionable spa town. Explore the festive Christmas market before our final farewell dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll bid “Auf Wiedersehen” to Baden-Baden and the magical Christmas markets you’ve encountered. We transfer two hours to Frankfurt for drop-offs at a destination of your choosing.
Arrival & Departure
Prior to the trip, arrive at your own convenience in Frankfurt. On Day 1, we will meet you in the lobby of the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof Hotel in Frankfurt at 8:30 a.m. After a transfer to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the holiday festivities begin! After Breakfast on Day 7, we’ll transfer from Baden-Baden to Frankfurt, where we’ll drop you off at a destination of your choosing.
Day 5 bicycle tour in Strasbourg
Day 1 walking tour of Rothenburg
Day 2 walking tour of Rothenburg town walls
Day 3 walking tour of Nuremberg
Day 6 hike in the Black Forest
The magical cities you’ll visit on this trip are brimming with Christmas spirit. Wander through the narrow, winding streets and town squares, breathing in the warm scent of cinnamon and cloves, and stopping to admire the twinkling lights that adorn the booths and buildings. Rothenburg ob der Tauber looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale, especially during the holidays. Considered Germany’s best-preserved walled town, a visit to this city feels like a trip back in time. In Nuremberg, you may want to explore the Imperial Castle – it was one of the most important castles of the Middle Ages. The mineral-rich spas in Baden-Baden have been used since Roman times, and are the perfect opportunity to relax and warm up after a week of exploring the markets.
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They take the time to explain the local history and daily sightseeing options. Each activity has been carefully planned to please each traveler’s interests. Austin Adventures guides are available to offer advice and assistance as you desire.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- Meals as listed in detailed daily itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Any necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Ron Van Dijk
Any former guest lucky enough to have been on one of Ron’s tours knows that he’s one of the best in the business. Mastering his craft alongside his father and co-founder of Euro-Bike Tours, Ron has been guiding tours and developing tours in Europe for over 45 years. Ron is one of the most knowledgeable guides about all things European travel. Born in Canada, Ron has also lived in the Netherlands, the United States, France, and Germany. He’s fluent in many European languages and has a passion for guiding that is unmatched.